Ankur Jain and Tabor’s low-vol, TMTC-only strategy

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“Shorting is hard. The stock market goes up over long periods of time. So, naturally, most analysts and PMs prefer spending time on the long book. We believe shorting single-name stocks is fundamentally important to a sound L/S strategy.”

Ankur is an experienced Chief Operating Officer and Marketer with two decades of experience in the hedge fund industry. Skilled in managing business operations, business development, and marketing strategy. He is a seasoned entrepreneur from Wharton Business School.

Q.1. How did you end up at Tabor, Ankur?

I’ve co-founded a hedge fund before so Morgan Stanley thought I would be a good fit for Tabor and introduced me to Jonathan.

Q.2. What does low-vol, TMTC-only, mean exactly? Why did Tabor select this strategy? 

We are sector specialists. Each of the four members of the investment team are seasoned and cover specific sub-sectors within TMTC. This is what they have always done so it made sense to bring them together and have a full-stack TMTC offering. Jonathan has been a PM managing a low net, low vol book since 2009 and we have the same approach at Tabor. Low vol is a function of the low net exposure construct of the portfolio combined with the idiosyncratic names we traffic in. Tabor’s annualized vol is 9% vs 25% for the S&P 500.

Q.3. It seems like Tabor has grown exponentially recently. What do current LPs love about Tabor?

I am obviously biased but I joined the firm almost two years ago because of the culture, the team’s commitment to the business, and of course, their backgrounds. We have continued to thoughtfully add to the team during the pandemic and are excited about our culture and the work we do. I think our investors see that and we are tremendously grateful for their support.

Q.4. What mistakes do small family offices make when investing in TMTC or managing their own Personal Account? 

It’s really hard for me to opine on this one. I think small family offices come in many flavors and everyone has their own set of preferences and journey. TMTC makes up 45-50% of the S&P 500 so I do think it probably makes sense for everyone to have some sort of exposure here, whether via generalist PMs or sector-specialists.

Q.5. Seems like you’re effortlessly juggling work and raising two kids, how do you teach grit to them? 

Great question (and thank you). Everyone has their own parenting style. My approach to teaching grit is to focus on effort. If they do something which requires minimal effort, that’s great. However, I am much more complimentary and encouraging when I see them continue to work on something difficult even though the outcome is not (yet) what they want it to be. Personally, I think it’s a better way to foster grit and a growth mindset rather than to tell them they are intelligent and let them rest on their laurels.

Q.6. What can family offices learn from Tabor’s rigorous investment selection and risk management processes? 

Like I said, everyone has their own preferences. We don’t pretend to know anything others don’t.

Q.7. Do you want to limit the amount of funds that Tabor will manage? Why? 

Yes, Jonathan has managed up to $2 billion in GMV previously and was starting to run up against liquidity constraints. With our gross exposure typically at 190-200% gross at Tabor, it would make sense to hard close at $1 billion of equity to avoid style drift.  

Q.8. What was the rationale behind selecting Tabor as a name? 

Mount Tabor, located in Israel, is the site of a famous biblical battle between the Israelite and Canaanite armies. The Canaanite army was much stronger, yet the Israelites were victorious because of their fortitude, perseverance, and confidence. And, of course, was available.

Q.9. What closely-held unpopular opinion do you believe in about the hedge fund industry? 

Shorting is hard. The stock market goes up over long periods of time. So, naturally, most analysts and PMs prefer spending time on the long book. We believe shorting single-name stocks is fundamentally important to a sound L/S strategy. It has certainly been hard to do so in this prolonged bull market we have seen but it remains core to our approach and helped protect investor capital in periods like March 2020 and January 2021.

Q.10. How would you allocate your personal 100 million portfolio?

Of course, I’d give some of it to Home.LLC… That’s a no-brainer! I did spend time on the investment teams at a couple of great MFOs and like their model from the client’s perspective. I’d likely look to work with an MFO like BBR.

Q.11. Which literature has had a profound impact on your investing career? (books/blog/newsletter) 

I was in the first graduating class of CAIA in the early 2000s and that got me interested in investing in alternatives. After leaving, which had a great HF newsletter of its own, I joined an MFO and started evaluating hedge funds from an IDD & ODD perspective. I think all those experiences were great training grounds for my current non-investment role.

Q. 12. Which mentor or early believer would you like to give a shout-out to?  

Jim Gillies was my first mentor in the industry and has remained a close friend. He took me under his wing early in my career and taught me a lot about the business. I am grateful for his tutelage and friendship.

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Anshika Burman

Anshika is a top-ranking graduate from Symbiosis International University. Previously, she worked in corporate finance at Dabur. She joined Home.LLC while pursuing her CFA.

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